Brendon sips on some wine, has a gourmet lunch and strolls around this beautiful vineyard.
For many years Margaret River has been a popular destination for people from Perth, particularly around Christmas, Easter and school holiday times. Now it has been discovered by others and the pretty town is gaining a reputation as a place well worth the trip.
It has world-class surfing beaches, rural scenery and an almost-endless selection of good wine and food. There are excellent vineyards and while wine production may be small in volume, it is very large in quality. Wine growing began in the mid-1960s and flourished in the 1980s and '90s. Now there are around 60 vineyards growing chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, semillon and shiraz grapes and most offer tastings and cellar door sales.
There is a mix of ostentatious and modest, with some vineyards standing in perfectly-manicured gardens and others more country-cottage style.
Wise Vineyard is at the northern tip of the Margaret River and has been owned by Ron and Sandra Wise since 1991. They turned the old 60ha farm into a popular vineyard, restaurant, accommodation and tourist spot.
About 20 minutes from the ocean, they have great views to Meelup Beach, a delightful outlook to enjoy while sipping local wine and enjoying a meal rich in local produce. The restaurant has a wide verandah and is open every day from 9.30am and Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner. Breakfast is served on weekends.
The Wises are great supporters of local artists. Visitors can enjoy a wander through the grounds, glass of wine in hand, to see some of their works.
Viticulturalist Tim Quinlan and his fellow workers take groups on winery and vineyard tours and talk about the characteristics of the various wines produced here.
Accommodation is in five rustic chalets, just a short stroll from the cellar door. Some are original farm buildings. The woodcutter's cottage sleeps two and the old barn sleeps up to six. The tea house sleeps up to 10. Groups of friends can book all five self-contained chalets to enjoy a weekend in the bush with the added appeal of quality food and wine.
An exciting new venture at Wise Vineyard is the introduction of health retreat weekends. This concept is proving to be very popular. Pilates, tai chi, yoga and other retreats are conducted by Dr Andrew Jan and his wife Fiona.